Major League Baseball signs US$5bn Fox renewal with DAZN deal set to follow

Rob Manfred

Rob Manfred

"Their innovative presentation of Major League Baseball through game telecasts and special programming across all their platforms has helped strengthen and elevate our sports' popularity".

The deal keeps the World Series on Fox, which has broadcast it every year since 1996, and will step up the number of regular- and post-season games on the network starting in 2022. The deal's financial terms were not disclosed.

For Fox, the deal means it retains the rights to one League Championship Series and two Division Series, as well as the All-Star Game. It expands the partnership between the organizations - DAZN streams live Major League Baseball games in Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Fox will also continue Saturday regular-season broadcasts (52 total games a year). As in the previous rights deal, Fox's League Championship Series and Division Series coverage will remain the same as it has been since 2014, alternating leagues each season.

Ratings for Major League baseball have been showing healthy signs in recent years, reaching peak levels in the fall of 2016 and 2017 with seven-game World Series wins for the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, respectively.

The 60-year-old Rome, NY native has agreed to a five-year extension taking Manfred through the 2024 season that was ratified on Thursday by the league's owners in Atlanta.

Under the terms of the new arrangement, there will continue to be two broadcast windows on every Saturday, with Fox also providing highlight packages and additional Major League Baseball programming, as well as televising occasional special event games.

Fox Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks called baseball a "cornerstone" of the Fox lineup. "It's an honor to have shared countless historic moments with our viewers over the last 22 seasons". The deal marks the first domestic major league sports property for DAZN in the US.